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Tue 27 Apr 2010 09:56 PM

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Kuwait may decide on building refinery by year end

Country's Supreme Petroleum Council is reviewing plans for the refinery.

Kuwait may decide on building refinery by year end
NEW REFINERY: Kuwait will wait till the end of the year to decide whether to build a new refinery as the Gulf state seeks to boost fuel output to meet Asian demand. (Getty Images)

Kuwait may decide by the end of this year on plans to build a new refinery as the Arabian Gulf state seeks to boost fuel output to meet demand in Asia, an official with the stateowned crude processing company said.

The country’s Supreme Petroleum Council is reviewing the plan for the refinery, which could start by 2015, Bakhit Al Rashidi, deputy managing director of planning at Kuwait National Petroleum Co said at a conference in Kuwait City today.

A plan for what would be Kuwait’s fourth oil refinery, to be located at Al Zour, was put on hold in March last year after the government canceled contracts over political opposition.

The main design and engineering work for the project is done and construction tenders for the refinery could be issued next year once parliament approves the project, Al Rashidi said at the Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference.

The refining unit of state run Kuwait Petroleum Corp. is also upgrading existing refineries to produce cleaner fuels, like low sulfur diesel, Al Rashidi said.

Engineering and design work for that project is finished and the upgrades may be done in 2015 or 2016, he said.

Kuwait’s three refineries have a capacity to process 931,000 barrels a day of crude oil, according to data from the BP Statistical Review.

The state run oil company is also in talks with “several” international oil companies about becoming partners in a refinery project it is developing in China, Mohammad Rashed Jasim, chief planning officer at Kuwait Petroleum International.

Total SA, Europe’s largest refiner, is considering joining Kuwait in a planned refinery project in China, Total Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie said at the conference yesterday.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp and Kuwait are seeking to build the plant in the southern city of Zhanjiang.

Jasim said Total is one of the companies with which Kuwait is discussing the project and declined to name others.

Kuwait is developing a refinery project in Vietnam, and Indonesia is “also on our radar screens” for potential investment in refining, he said.

The plants would process the Gulf state’s crude and serve local markets, Jasim said.

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